David Stanley Cheadle, QC, long a well-regarded lawyer in Thunder Bay, passed away Monday, November 5th, 2018 at Hogarth Riverview Manor. He achieved 93 years of age before submitting to the ultimate court.
Born in 1925, David was the son of Walter and Jesse (Hinckley). He was a graduate of Fort William Collegiate Institute, excelling in the classroom and on the football field as a halfback for the FWCI Blue Bears until the Second World War interceded. He served in the RCAF as a navigator and aerial photographer. Upon returning, David graduated from FWCI, and went on to receive his B.A. degree from the University of Toronto (1948), subsequently graduating with honours from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1951. He was awarded a Rotary Fellowship that allowed him to pursue postgraduate studies in Law at Cambridge University in England, during which time he toured Europe as a core member of Cambridge’s hockey team.
Sports were David’s passion and original career goal. It was not meant to be, however. His reputation as a football player afforded him the rare distinction of being invited to join the Toronto University Varsity Blues football squad while a first-year student. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury during a simple gymnastics routine that permanently prevented his pursuing that much wanted opportunity and sports career. Acting on a suggestion that he’d do well in law, David set out to become the best lawyer he could. His standard was simple – always do your best and especially when no-one is looking – your real judge is the man in the mirror.
David returned to Fort William from Cambridge in 1952 and married Beverley Phillips, daughter of Alexander and Lillian (Foxton) Phillips in September of that year. Theirs was a romance for the ages, and they remained devoted to each other for nearly sixty years of marriage, during which time they raised three sons. David opened his law office in 1953 and was subsequently joined in partnership with lawyers Wally Bryan and Roy Mitchell. The partnership grew with the addition of James Young, James Johnson, William Shanks, Douglas Shanks, Donald Shanks and Brian McIvor during David’s years in practice. The firm continues to this day under the banner of Cheadles LLP. He was awarded a QC (Queen’s Counsel). During his career, David was active in service to his profession and community. He served as President of the Thunder Bay Law Association, the Fort William Rotary Club and the Silver Islet Campers Association and was active for many years in the John Howard Society.
Professionalism and rules of confidentiality were always keenly observed by David but the Nakina Inquest on which he worked closely with (now Justice) Doug Shaw as co-counsels for the families of the victims, made a deep impact on David and he did reveal just how much it had affected him in later years. Estate work in another instance resulted in an experience on the far end of the spectrum that saw him made a Member of the Order of the Beefeater in England, a source both of modest pride and some amusement. In a half century of the practice of law he saw much, acted on behalf of many but never compromised on the highest standards of his profession.
Following his retirement, David and Beverley moved to British Columbia, settling in Kelowna where they made many new friends. They returned to the NorthWest every year to spend summers at their cherished haven at Silver Islet with their canine companions. Family celebrations, major holidays, and vacations commonly took place at "SI", with Bev commanding the kitchen, Dave presiding over the bar, and one of the German shepherds standing guard over the proceedings.
David had a questing mind matched with an uncanny ability to pierce to the heart of a debate. He took an active interest in politics and matters before the courts, and would readily engage all takers in intense discussion of weighty matters. Yet, for all of that, his happiest moments involved simple pleasures like a morning stroll to the Sea Lion at Silver Islet with his wife by his side and a dog at his heel.
David was predeceased by Beverley on the last day of August 2012, a mere six days short of their 60th wedding anniversary. He returned to Thunder Bay the following spring eventually moving into Hogarth Riverview Manor where he was helped by attentive and compassionate caregivers. He is lovingly remembered by his sons Gregory and wife Janet Anderson of Thunder Bay, Scott and wife Pat Lang of Silver Islet, Burns and wife Sherri Baker of London, Ontario and their children Kyle and Elysse of Vancouver, BC. Also surviving are step-grandchildren Cheryl (Shannon) Foster-Garrett and Theresa (Chris) Fisher, step great-grandchildren Shealyn and Owen Fisher, and numerous nephews and nieces.
It was Dad’s preference that no service be held as the bench had already rendered its decision so further argument was moot. The family will celebrate Dad’s life privately when all are able to gather at Silver Islet. Friends, if they so desire, are encouraged to consider the Thunder Bay Humane Society, The Salvation Army in Thunder Bay or the John Howard Society of Thunder Bay with their generosity in memory of David S. Cheadle, QC. He was a man of great breadth and will be dearly missed.